News

Banjo man's wild and worldly ride into 'Gothic Australiana'

Harry Jakamarra will bring his blistering banjo skills to Yamba on Sunday.
Harry Jakamarra will bring his blistering banjo skills to Yamba on Sunday.

WHAT happens when a croc skinner puts down his knife and leaves the Kimberley in his house truck, with his banjo in tow?

A chilling collection of songs that have been described as "Gothic Australiana", that's what.

Harry Jakamarra forged his songwriting, banjo and guitar skills in settings as diverse as the desert sands north of Timbuktu, the choked back streets of Varanasi on the Ganges River, and the uninhabited reaches of the Great Sandy Desert in Western Australia.

Growing up in Broome WA, Harry was inspired to begin playing the guitar after seeing the Warumpi band perform. Soon after he picked up the five-string banjo and became a regular at local venues. Harry also developed a fascination with Indian classical slide-guitar and throughout his teens travelled to India to formally study with the gurus of Hindustani slide.

Back at home in the Kimberley, he was rapidly becoming a local favourite as well as garnering the esteem of touring artists. He shared the stage with John Butler, Missy Higgins and supported artists such as Paul Kelly and The Waifs.

In 2012 Harry released his impressive debut album.

Soon after he left Broome for Mali, in North Africa, to seek out the origins of the claw hammer banjo style. Mali was in a state of civil turmoil at this time due to a major Tuareg uprising.

Despite this, Harry travelled to Timbuktu to be mesmerised by such artists as Tinariwen and Vieux Farka Toure at the mysterious Festival au Desert. Gun battles raged nearby between Tuareg rebels and the Malian military and, at the end of the festival, Harry narrowly escaped with his life.

Returning to Broome Harry took a job at the local crocodile park as a full-time skinner. This gruelling job also involved chasing down and wrestling enraged escapees.

During this time Harry purchased an ex-navy fire engine and began converting it into a quirky, gypsy-style home on wheels. He currently lives and tours in this vehicle, which is completely off grid, solar powered and runs on used cooking oil.

At 23 years of age, Harry has already had a lifetime of interesting adventures. His captivating stories manifest in dark, emotionally charged songs. His powerful poetry, original voice and raw, intricate banjo and guitar sounds are exquisitely framed in his latest recording.

The sparse nature of the production makes the strength and maturity of Harry's songs very clear.

Jeff Lang as engineer/producer was a perfect match. With guest vocals from Liz Stringer, double bass by Ben Franz (The Waifs) and tasteful drumming by Harry's brother Albert these songs will have a lasting effect.

Harry's second album is set for release next year but in the meantime catch him in Yamba as part of his East Coast tour.

Topics:  banjo live music pacific hotel yamba



Dreamworld reopens after 6 weeks in limbo

Visitors go through the doors of Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016.

Every ride has undergone 'rigorous' program of testing

Captain's youth key to titles

Far North captain Nadi Canning is looking forward to leading the region in the Surf Life Saving NSW Interbranch Championships on the Central Coast this weekend.

2016 Surf Life Saving Interbranch Championships

No Murwillumbah ward specialist as changes flagged

Murwillumbah Hospital has no specialist pediatric on site.

Calls for funds to remain to care for children as admissions decline

Local Partners

Join charity for lift-off

Public meeting for people who want to form a group that will hold community events and raise money for the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter.


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Man builds playground entirely out of packing tape

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

VIDEO:And here's where you can play on it.

Cooly sings out for carols

Santa gets ready to skydive into the Coolangatta Christmas Carols on Sunday, December 13. Photo: Scott Powick Daily News

Santa dropping in for Christmas Carols at Coolangatta

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Gong goes to M'bah duo

Dave Weir and Miya Sapir from Tupenny Opera performing in Mexico.

A night at the opera

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Horse haven on big acreage in Murwillumbah

55 Glencoe Road, Murwillumbah

Check out this week's feature property.

WATCH QTV: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!